As a J.J. Virgin devotee – and still going strong in Phase 1 of this life-changing diet – I have also added Weight Watchers to the mix. Alas, I was one of the few people on earth who did not “lose seven pounds in seven days” on the Virgin Diet despite staying very faithfully to the diet. I didn’t cheat as some of you reading this might believe. When I reintroduced I became very sick – even slightly increasing sugar over 9 grams at most per day gave me migraines. Who wants those? So I have stayed with it—despite all the restrictions, but I could not lose weight. In fact, I began to gain weight.
I do not blame The Virgin Diet for this however. I’m 57 – post menopause and when the hot flashes actually increased (ending menopause apparently doesn’t bid farewell to hot flashes…) so did the weight gain. I had kept to a size 6-8 for years, but suddenly no matter what I seemed to try, I could not lose weight on my petite frame and in fact gained – even with exercise.
So armed with The Virgin Diet as my guide – I went back to Weight Watchers and while it’s been a slow go—I have lost seven pounds in 10 weeks.
I know, I know – not exactly your super duper success story – but at least I am losing weight and I’m not hungry. Heck, I'm down to a size eight and even in some cases a size six pair of jeans because a few pounds on small bones means something. So I consider this a positive.
And I credit Quinoa with part of this positive progress.
So, what the heck is Quinoa you might ask? It’s exactly what I said when my daughter first told me about it. It’s like a rice – but not – like polenta – but not – it IS a grain and it’s tasty, high in fiber, high in protein and gluten free. A cup mixed with beans or a serving of lean meat like chicken breast, with a bit of salt fills me right up.
You can even make puddings with it! Yes! Today I’ll show you how I make banana pudding and I sweeten this dish with nothing but bananas (you can use Stevia if it’s not quite sweet enough for you).
Remembering that I do not claim to be a chef or an expert in either the J.J. Virgin Diet or Weight Watchers. I’m just an Italian lady ever trying to find tasty foods that won’t make me fat.
Quinoa Banana Pudding
½ cup is a serving size
4 Cups water
2 cups Quinoa
2-3 Bananas (I always use 3)
½- 1 cup Almond or Coconut milk unsweetened
Dash almond extract and Vanilla extract
Cook Quinoa according to directions with a dash of sea salt in the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add the Quinoa and cover, lowering the heat to simmer.
You’ll know the Quinoa is cooked when that bead has a little “string” fall away from it.
While you are cooking the Quinoa – in a blender, mix your Almond milk, your banana and here is where you’ll add in your extra sweetener such as Stevia/Monk Fruit or Xylitol for J.J. Virgin dieters.
When the Quinoa is cooked, all the water will be absorbed, similar to rice.
Keeping the heat low, add in your blended banana mixture and stir continually until it becomes a thick consistency. See the video below.
Voila! You have a healthy, high fiber, high protein dessert and if you stick to the ½ cup serving – it won’t make you fat! Or at least shouldn't anyway. 😉
TIP– I sometimes use banana extract for that extra banana taste I love so much.
NOTE: Using only two bananas Weight Watchers comes up with 8 pts. Per a 1 cup serving – so to be safe – I only have ½ cup as my serving even though the banana obviously calculates differently once cooked. So be aware. Also, if you add the coconut cream topping be sure to figure that into your points count.
Quinoa (/ˈkiːnwɑː/, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. As a member of the Amaranthaceae family, it is related to and resembles amaranth, which is also a pseudocereal.
It is high in protein, lacks gluten, and is tolerant of dry soil.
I also often use a tablespoon or two of Quinoa flakes in my Cream of Rice cereal or hot oatmeal in the mornings. See photo below.
This stuff is a wonder food for me - and taste is what it's all about. I find it very tasty - either in either a sweet dish or for a regular meal with beans or meat.
Amount Per 1 cup (185 g)
Total Fat 3.6 g
Saturated fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated fat 2 g
Monounsaturated fat 1 g
Sodium 12.9 mg
Potassium 318.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.4 g
Dietary fiber 5.2 g
Sugar 1.6 g
Protein 8.1 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
And that my friends is my piece for today! 💁